Arts and Entertainment

A&E on 2020, and What We Left Behind in 2019

The Arts & Entertainment department reflects on the past year and makes some resolutions that might not be kept.

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Emma Linderman

Jacqueline is making me fill this out as an example, and when I told her I didn’t know what to write, she said, and I quote, “Just write, ‘Blah blah blah I have seen the light blah blah All Hail Keanu Reeves blah.’” Honestly, that sums up both my year and my experience as an editor. That and the fact that I will continue to assert that I have been in the same room as the cast of “Reality Bites.” Also, New Year’s is objectively the worst holiday.

Dexter Wells

This year was 2019, and now it is over. I think I held my own against it. There were some strange moments indeed, but as moments often do, they have blended themselves together into a blur. I really cannot discern a specific highlight that I cherish above all others. Everything happened so quickly. In fact, I don’t know if September happened. No, really, I can’t remember. So quite honestly, it was the people that stood out above all. They were all very good to me, mostly. Yes, I value my friends greatly. They are all trying so hard, and somehow they also have time to be nice to me. So that’s pretty cool. Next year, I would like to continue to have nice friends. Maybe I will also find an ambition. I hear that those can be interesting.

Irene Hao

Every January, I make myself a list of resolutions, only for me to forget them within the next week. 2019 was no exception. I did whatever made me happy. I tried for teams and positions I wanted. I tried activities I was hesitant to undertake before. And I tried to take each rejection and each “what if” as an incentive for improvement. I don’t think that part of me will change in 2020, and I’m glad.

Christine Lin

2019 was a big year in terms of personal growth for me. I used to hate spending the entire day alone; I couldn’t understand how people could just go shopping or eat at a restaurant by themselves without insecurity. This year particularly, I’ve tried to go out of my comfort zone and do exactly that. I’m proud to say that I now have the enlightening experience of getting lost countless times on my way to various parks and museums, alone. In a way I think I’ve gained a new sense of independence that I didn’t have before. The idea of skating in Bryant Park or going to a dance studio alone no longer daunts me—I enjoy it. I hope that I’ll continue to do so as the new decade emerges.

Suah Chung

My personal highlight of 2019 would be the senior graduation in June when I was performing with the chorus. It was on the last day of school, so I was feeling sentimental about the future. The excited atmosphere of the hundreds of seniors reflected their liberating exhilaration at completing high school. I imagined myself as a senior in those soft red seats, smiling until my teeth hurt and looking for my parents. Watching the blue caps fly after graduation finished, I was determined to give my academics and extracurriculars my all in the coming years, so when I finally sat in those seats after four years of high school, I would smile with confidence, knowing that I had worked my hardest and tried my best to get to that point. Although I never make formal New Year’s resolutions, I still strive to fulfill this goal completely.

Caroline Pickering

Picking just one event from 2019 is too difficult. I’ve experienced so much, done so many things, and grown so much as a person. I’ve had very very bad days too, but looking back on this year, I have to say that I wouldn’t change it for the world. This year, I’ve met some of the best friends I’ve ever had, explored who I am as a person, and enjoyed both new and old experiences. Ultimately, I’ve never really had New Year's resolutions, but some goals are to remain healthy and put more time into doing the things that I love, because that’s really all we have in this world.

Althea Barrett

I have no real highlights from 2019, nor do I have any from 2018, or 2017. My resolutions for 2020 are mainly directed towards changing this pattern. I want to get out of the house more often, improve old relationships, and do more things in general. I also hope to dedicate more time to hobbies. My New Year’s Resolutions can be broadly listed under the umbrella of self-improvement.

Lianne Ohayon

2019 was quite a year for me. There were ups and downs but overall, I had a good year. Picking only one highlight is difficult because there were many great moments. From going on trips outside of New York City, to learning who I was as a person, 2019 was a year of growth and happiness for me. In terms of resolutions, I usually make them but never follow through, but since it’s turning into 2020, I will try to commit to my resolution. I plan to be more social, exercise more, and focus on my mental health.

Samira Esha

2019 was the most emotionally draining for me by far, but the highlight of it was expressing myself through art, specifically music and writing. I used music as a way to cope during some really tough times. As a lifelong follower of pop culture, my friends got tired of me talking about the latest albums or films, so The Spectator helped me express myself. I also wrote down my thoughts and life stories almost every week, helping to refresh my mind. For 2020, I hope I continue to do these things and set aside time for just myself. I’ll also try to cut down on my procrastination and improve my work ethic.

Sasha Burshteyn

2019 was one of the most challenging years for me, but the struggle made me stronger as a person. I’ve become more open about my feelings, which I had been working on for a while. I’ve also begun putting more time and effort into things I’m genuinely interested in. I’ve definitely improved in terms of commitment.

Sometimes I look back on a moment or photo from 2019 and think, ‘Wow, that was such a good day.’ All the moments I shared with those I love are the highlights from this year. I met some people who are now extremely important to me, strengthened older relationships, and shared some great experiences with friends that I’ll definitely remember for a very long time.

I always feel bad about not being able to keep my resolutions even though I say I will, so I’m not going to put a lot of thought into them for 2020, but I certainly hope to not waste time with unnecessary things, instead spending more of it doing things I enjoy with people I care about.

Jiahe Wang

In 2019, I saw a glacier for the first time in my life. I traveled to Iceland and climbed up a glacier with an unpronounceable name: Vatnajokull. I almost cried when I reached the peak and saw a vast expanse of blue before my eyes. I was reminded of how transient things were by the fact that these layers of ice were here millions of years before us and were witnesses to human history.

My New Year’s resolution is to learn how to say “no” to my friend Misaal’s request that I learn how to juggle with her. Oh yeah, and maybe grind harder. And to finish the Simpsons. And to learn ventriloquism. And to kickstart my mukbang career.